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At the end of the summer, just before the school year, 18 disadvantaged young people from Bulgaria took part in a youth exchange held in the Predeal area, Romania. The exchange took place under a project of the Concordia Bulgaria Foundation, with which Equilibrium has been a partner for years.

The two young people travelled from Ruse were past clients of the complex for social services. Work with them has been completed successfully and now, accompanied by a senior social worker from the centre for social support – Deana Angelova – they had the opportunity to share this trip with peers from all over the country and others from Romania.

The young people took part in all organized events – discussions, seminars and group activities. The youngsters had opportunity to express their views freely on various professional topics concerning their ideas about work, ways to deal with stress in an interview, how to perform best at meetings with employers. They had a meeting with former users of Foundation Concordia’s residential services in Romania who have become successful in business. The conclusions from these dialogues provide answers to important questions for adolescents – what is ahead of me, how to look for and find a suitable job, how to find a suitable home, how to allocate adequately time and money – all these small but difficult steps towards independence.

As well as these practical skills, the young people also developed their social skills by presenting their own projects on topics such as My Hero, My Independent Life and My Dream Job. The work on the projects helped them to improve their teamwork skills, their knowledge of foreign languages, the allocation of tasks and the assumption of responsibilities.

An excursion to the city of Brasov, a visit in a zoo and in an adventure park, were “super” according to the young participants. The youth exchange is part of the project ‘’Wings for Youth’’ (Wings4Youth – 830972), co-funded from the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship program and is being implemented with the lead partnership of Concordia Romania, Concordia Bulgaria and CSR Nest Romania.